I attempted to post this reply in regards to Gene Sapakoff's scathing article about MMA in South Carolina (from 2009), but due to character limits, I won't bother. I will however e-mail this to him. I only sent this because I have not seen any follow-up on the topic since the writing of that story, so I am sure that he holds the same very stupid opinions. Not to mention, the article really is that dumb. Enjoy.
You can find the original article here:
I almost did not respond to this since the last comments were well over two years ago. However, I really feel disgusted that this piece of "journalism" was written up, and the fact that the date on it was not from the 1990s. Moreover, I have no doubt that you have not written any follow-up articles, and are keeping quiet on the subject, as the reader response destroyed any credibility that you may have as a sportswriter.
To begin, your comments are so stupid that one would believe that you were trying to use hyperbole, and that you could not possibly believe that "flying groin kicks" actually take place in MMA. However, after reading your article, and seeing just how high you are on your own opinion, it's obvious that you do believe that this occurs in the average MMA fight. It's downright embarrassing when you consider that any sane person would believe that a journalist would actually conduct research before going out of the way to slam a sport that they obviously know nothing about. You sir, went in full-steam ahead, and attacked the sport with all of your pre-conceived biases, not caring if there is any accuracy in your statements. I would figure that a journalist such as you would see the danger in this, as a misinformed opinion could sway people who already had bias to begin with. If you’re going to eviscerate a topic so strongly, please know what you’re talking about first.
“At least they didn't add a provision hereby decreeing that a logo featuring a crazed guy with lots of tattoos and a bloody nose be added to the standard South Carolina license plate.”
Nice. You do realize that this could be used to describe a boxer, right? Oh, and by the way, I am a professional MMA fighter myself, and darn it, not a single tattoo on me! Guess I better head out to the tattoo parlor to fit your stereotype. That being said, I do know a few fighters covered in tattoos. One of them is an active duty Air Force serviceman. But he’s covered in tattoos and is an MMA fighter, watch out! There is no way he could be someone who has served our nation honorably. Maybe next time you can stop typing before you embarrass yourself.
"It is one of the faster growing sports in the country. In terms of folks being injured, from the information I've received, less people get hurt from (MMA) than from boxing. I think they had one broken arm last year."
I see that you put this little gem in there, believing that everyone reading it would gasp and say, “Broken arm!!! This is the sport of the devil!” Here’s something for you, I like to call it “research.” There have been two recorded deaths in the history of sanctioned Mixed Martial Arts. Oh, the humanity! But wait, surely a sport as glorious as the great sport of boxing has a far better safety record.
Here’s a list put together by yahoo, of the top ten boxers who died in the ring:
Here’s a list of people who died in boxing and toughman competitions (which are state-regulated):
Most statistics point to about 8-10 deaths related to boxing a year. In a table provided in the link above, over have 60 died in the 2000s, and it seems that those statistics were last updated on that page in 2007.
Let me break it down, as to why there is such a difference. You see, in the cage, a guy is dropped from a strike. The fighter moves in to finish the fight with punches on the ground. Pretty brutal right? Here’s what is important: the fighter doesn’t defend himself, and the referee stops the fight. The difference in boxing? Fighter A is dropped from a punch. However, the fight is not over. He may be groggy, but as long as he makes the count, looks ready enough to continue, the fight goes on. Now this fighter, who has already possibly had head trauma, is right back at it, taking further blows to the head. The difference is that a fighter in MMA gets dropped, the fight can be over quick. In boxing, a fighter is dropped, but continues being beat several more rounds afterwards, all the way to a one-sided decision. Just some food for thought.
“We are still not sure if MMA events are real or fixed, but the bill is expected to move on to the state senate.”
Yes, and on top of decided matches, fighters are encouraged to never break character and stick to storylines. They also make sure that they knock out the ref before they bring in their manager with the steel chair. I cannot believe you put this in your article and that it passed the eyeball test. Not sure if MMA events are fixed? You are on the level of a conspiracy theorist if you hold that much skepticism.
You mentioned, “The nebulous area of submission holds….” You mean the submission holds that have been developed in various martial arts over the last several hundred years? The submission holds that can end as fast as the fighter taps out? The submission holds that can actually end a fight with either fighter taking little damage? Moving on…
“…a venerable sport with long established rules…”
You used this describe boxing. Yes, because in MMA, there are no rules! No holds-barred! Everything is legal! Oh wait, no it is not. There are actually a very long set of established rules, which have been around for years. It is called the Unified Rules for a reason.
MMA fighters are real athletes. Collegiate wrestlers now have an avenue to continue their athletic careers aside from pro wrestling or slim Olympic hopes. If you underestimate that sort of athleticism, I challenge you to watch high-caliber wrestlers train. Now imagine that even if people do not have that background, they are ensuring that their training matches that intensity. Serious fighters sometimes train at a rate of 3-4 hours a day (or more), learning technique, sparring, conditioning, weight-training, etc. To put it bluntly, many of these individuals put the 10,000 hour rule to the test, as most professional athletes do.
It’s human cockfighting! Just like John McCain said! Oh, wait….. that was 15 years ago. Let’s see what John has to say now:
"They have cleaned up the sport to the point, at least in my view, where it is not human cockfighting any more. I think they've made significant progress. They haven't made me a fan, but they have made progress."
Once again, I like to call that RESEARCH. I know that this word may be strange to you, so allow me to place a definition here for you. Oh, and FYI, that link above is what I call a “reference.” It’s where I found my information when I was doing “research.” Now where was I? Ah yes, defining research.
re·search/ˈrēˌsərCH/Noun: The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
Verb: Investigate systematically.
Synonyms: noun. investigation - exploration - search - study - inquiry
verb. explore - investigate - search - study – inquire
Here is my favorite part of that definition: to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
A bit of advice (from the average joe to the respected journalist)…. try out that last part sometime.